New MLA consumer marketing campaign aligns ‘beef’ with ‘winter’ + VIDEO


No other meat protein has such a strong association with changing seasons as does beef, and it is this point that ML Australia aims to leverage-off with the launch of its new winter season domestic marketing campaign on Sunday.

The next phase of MLA’s domestic beef consumer campaign will celebrate the onset of colder weather as the opportunity to engage more with beef.

“Beef, more than its competitor proteins, tends to be eaten differently, dependent on the weather,” MLA’s group marketing manager, consumer programs, Andrew Cox told Beef Central yesterday.

“There is the strong association with steaks and barbecues in summer, contrasting sharply with the slow-cook items like curries, roasts and casseroles in winter months. Beef occupies these two distinct spaces better than other proteins,” Mr Cox said.

As a result, this year’s winter beef campaign promises to be a ‘lot more pointed,’ in its seasonal association.

“The ads from winter last year still showcased winter-appropriate meals, but they weren’t necessarily trying to make an overt association with the season. The push this winter is to cement the association between ‘beef’ and ‘winter warming meals’,” Mr Cox said.

“In essence, we want consumers to think beef, rather than just soup and ugg boots, when they want to warm up in winter.”

The light-hearted ad being launched on TV, print, outdoor billboards and in in-store promotion on Sunday is perhaps less ‘blokey’ than last summer’s Merrick Watts campaign asking consumers to “Throw another steak on the barbie,” – partly because winter cooking is perhaps a less male-oriented domain than the barbecue.

“Both campaigns are broadly directed at Australian adults, but certainly the tone of this year’s winter campaign is a little more female focussed,” Mr Cox said.


Click on image below to view the new TV ad

In addition to the TV ads and point-of-sale material, there will also be a stronger than usual element of ‘outdoor’ advertising (billboards, bus shelters etc) in the new winter beef promotion.

“The reason is that we want to hit consumers with the message when they are actually feeling cold. Sitting at home with the heater on, they’re not feeling as cold as they are when they’re outside, heading home from work, and see the message on the roadside or in the bus shelter,” he said.


‘Weather-sensitive’ recipe suggestions

One of the ‘pixie dust’ aspects of the new advertising campaign will be 250 sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where consumers can access beef recipe ideas from a panel, via their mobile phone. 

The novelty will be in that the recipe ideas vary, dependent on the local weather.

“If it’s a below average temperature and raining at the time, the unit might dispense a hearty casserole recipe. If the temperature is above average, it might dispense a stir-fry. Right on average might be a roast,” Mr Cox said.

The ‘temperature sensitive’ recipe suggestion panels will be located in outdoor locations and shopping centres.

 “So far as we’re aware, this is the first time anything like this has been done in consumer marketing,” Mr Cox said. “We think it’s a fairly innovative use of outdoor advertising.”

While Sunday’s TV ad is a focus on ‘real Australians’ and what they do to keep warm in winter, the ad will carry a cameo from TV identity, Tim Shaw of Demtel fame, for reasons which will become obvious when viewers see the commercial.

In-store promotional material for independent butchers and supermarkets is being despatched to the retail sector this week, along with two million copies of the incredibly popular Entice magazine, devoted to helpful recipe ideas and hints about how to cook the perfect winter beef meal.

Osso bucco, blade, round, and oyster blade recipes feature in the latest issue.

“The more we’ve looked at beef, the more we’ve appreciated that there are two distinct seasonal cycles in consumers’ minds. It applies more to beef than any other protein, and they’re almost like two distinctly different products, from a marketing perspective."

"One has connections with ‘outdoor’, ‘quick-and-easy’, and is more ‘male-oriented,’ and the other is more about a ‘comforting, nurturing’ message,” Mr Cox said.


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